Wind Cave Begins Night Hikes Looking for Ferrets

A black-footed ferret peers out of a hole looking right.

NPS Photo: Barb Muenchau

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News Release Date: July 9, 2009

Contact: Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Rangers at Wind Cave National Park will be offering special night hikes this summer in hopes of seeing a black-footed ferret, the rarest animal in North America.

These special ranger programs begin at the Elk Mountain Campground at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. After a brief presentation, the group will car caravan to a nearby prairie dog town where the ranger will lead the group across the prairie. The program ends at 10:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, long pants, good hiking shoes, and dress for the weather. These special night hikes are offered through August 15.  

“We had a very enthusiastic response from visitors who participated in these hikes last year,” said park superintendent Vidal Davila. “While only one hike saw a ferret, others were amazed at seeing the Milky Way for the first time, another group came over a hill and discovered a herd of elk, and every group remarked what a unique experience it was being out on the prairie at night.”

Beside these special ferret programs, park rangers present evening campfire programs every night on a variety of topics. These 45-minute programs begin at 9 p.m. through August 15 and at 8 p.m. from August 16 through September 7.

For more information on any of these programs, visit or call 605-745-4600.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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